Accor signs CEO Water Mandate to make changes to hotel operations

by: Felicity Cousins | March 25, 2024

WORLDWIDE: Accor today signed the CEO Water Mandate, an initiative created by the United Nations in 2007, to address urgent water issues.

Joining 256 other companies which have committed to the mandate, Accor will progress along six areas of water stewardship: direct operations, supply chain & watershed, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency. 

As part of the initiative Accor will create partnerships and accelerate collective positive water impact in 100 priority basins by 2030. You can see the map detailing the priority basins here.

Brune Poirson, chief sustainability officer at Accor said: “When at least 50 per cent of the world’s population live under highly water-stressed conditions for at least one month of the year, we cannot operate hotels as we did before.”

Accor is a member of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and last year co-launched the Hospitality Alliance for Responsible Procurement – HARP with Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group.

In recognition of sourcing more sustainable supply chains Accor has also signed a strategic partnership with BE WTR, a sustainable water brand, to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from its properties by 2025. Hotels are responsible for 150 million tonnes of single-use plastic each year – you can read more about that here.

Guests staying with Accor will be able to use BE WTR’s refillable glass bottles instead.

Among the group’s other initiatives, Accor’s Water Plan is committed to reducing water consumption through efficiency and sufficiency measures, and improving water quality through avoiding chemical-based products in its operations and fighting micro-plastic pollution.

For example, Mövenpick Petra converted 90 per cent of its hotel rooms to have walk-in showers instead of bathtubs which led to a decrease in water usage from 45,000 m3 in 2019 to 27,000 m3 in 2023. It is aiming for a 15 per cent reduction in room water consumption by 2025. 

Poirson added: “Water is a vital resource that underpins our operations, our value chain and the well-being of the communities we serve. Therefore, Accor is dedicated to pioneering sustainable solutions & experiences that make every stay a contribution to the society and the environment.

“To do so, we foster collaboration over competition to set new standards and drive water stewardship actions in all territories where we operate.”

The group has said it encourages guests to skip daily room cleaning services to save water and energy under its “Skip the Clean” project. Those who do can earn loyalty points. 

According to Accor, if all guests staying more than one night opted out of the daily cleaning of their room (except every third day), it’s estimated that up to 4 per cent of direct water consumption could be saved. For an average hotel this is the equivalent of 6,500 showers each year.

Photo by Oleksandr Sushko on Unsplash